Paul is defending 9 cups as co-skipper on Tactix an X99 as part of the Wight Rose team. http://www.threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk/#!wight-rose/gqmal You can follow progress on yellow brick from the start on Saturday 11th June This year they will be slowed slightly by having a cameraman on board filming for a TV documentary. Dee Caffari and Elin Haf Davies will also have cameramen on board their yachts.
the Volvo Round Ireland starts a week later, 18th June http://roundireland.ie/wp/index.php/2016/01/19/wild-spirit/ with Wild Spirit having only the team prize cup to defend. Yellow brick tracking should be available should you wish to follow our progress.
This time we won’t make the mistake of enjoying the local hospitality until 0400 on the morning of the race which led to a much delayed hoist whilst the fore-deck committee searched in vain for the fourth corner of the spinnaker.
Judith will look after the admin until Paul’s return on 30th June.
Lots of races have a trophy for first Sea School yacht, but not the RORC Myth of Malham race from Cowes round Eddystone and back. Pity as we as we beat Logic, Girls for sail and the Army to finish 23rd overall and 5th in Class.
The light wind weather forecast meant the course was shortened to 230 miles The start wwas painfully slow and the first night saw many in the fleet drifting backwards near Portland Bill. Sunday saw much better progress and we ran virtually all the way down to the the notorious ‘Start Point wind hole’ under Spinnaker before the sea breeze kicked in and we tacked on whites up and round the Rock whilst spotting a few Dolphins.
Returning homewards it was clear we couldn’t get across Lyme Bay and past Portland on one tide, so we set a Waypoint 10 miles south of the Bill and sailed quickly in a building Northerly. Then we were close hauled against the tide and round the corner into Christchurch Bay pursued by 2 Sunfast 3200s who give us time and should have been well in front of us. As the wind reached 25 knots and backed we tacked into the finish crossing the line at 8.9 kts over the ground.
Everything from becalmed to needing reefs a challenging but satisfying race.
Paul is away until Tuesday racing. All enquiries will be dealt with then. The last RYA course saw Pete, Steph and Luca passing Comp Crew. Mike and Donald both passed Day Skipper.
It certainly was a fabulous weekend, and lovely to see Paul in full race form, beating back through that tide at Hurst. A cracking sail.
Thank you everyone, for your excellent company.
Ian a regular on Wild Spirit was with us when we sailed back through Hurst against a spring tide peaking at 5 kts. With 20 kts of breeze we could make headway but it proved a valuable learning experience for newer sailors. From 2017 all Day Skipper qualifications will be tidal with this topic just being covered by theory in non-tidal waters. Many who believe that there is nothing like experience feel this is a retrograde move. We will continue to fully comply with RYA course requirements and strive to teach you to sail, enjoy your time on board and pass the course.
Paul is off sailing now until 21st May but Judith will run the office and provisonal bookings will be held until my return. Why do I vet every RYA booking and not have a ‘pay and book now system’? Quite simply if you book on the wrong RYA course it can be painful for everyone on board.
I have rejigged our Cowes Week package and reduced the cost for early bookers. more details on Cowes week page.
The long weekend saw us fly down to Weymouth on the tide acheiving 11kts speed over the ground (SOG) as we crossed St albans Ledge. On Sunday we had planned to sail back to Poole but a forecast of heavy rain on Monday morning persuaded us to go for Yarmouth instead. We sailed across Christchurch bay knowing that we would have to fight a big tide through Hurst and with up to 25 kts of breeze we tacked our way through. The tide off Hurst acheived over 5 kts in one place and we watched the Sea Start rib with its powerful outboard battling to tow a small yacht in. Briefly we were down to less than 1 knot SOG but we managed to sail all the way to the Yarmouth and enjoyed a rather good meal out in the Indian Tapas restaurant.
Thanks for a great sailing weekend, a blast from start to finish. A couple of pics attached. Best wishes and fair winds
The race to St Vaast from Cowes took us just under 12.5 hours to cover 90 miles with almost all of it under either spinnaker or code zero. We probably went a bit too far east as we approached Cap Barfleur, which cost us some silverware, but we still managed 5th in Class for our first cross channel this year. The last 2 miles we were neck and neck with Red Arrow the RAF Offshore racing team and, whilst they just got to the line first on their J109, we beat them on corrected time.
Round Ireland team is full again as John Costello from our 2014 team rejoins us to replace Aussie Bruce.
First booking for the Fastnet 2017 3 week package for overseas sailors made 28th April.
Paul has now finished 6 Sydney to Hobart races and was first in Class in 2015, plus taken line honours in the Lord Howe Island race. As a result we have good contacts in Oz and as well as the expensive ‘once in a lifetime’ Sydney to Hobart we can offer several other modestly priced races on Helsal 3 an iconic 66 footer. We also have a cruise from Hobart up the west of Tasmania to the UNESCO Wilderness areas. Cruises start at £150 races are a bit more e.g. Airlie Beach race week in August is £595.
‘Tis an ill wind that blows no man any good’ Drought in E Australia means we have lost a cherished team member.
You don’t have to replace his ability to make us laugh, but if you can work on the Bows, or really know the tides on the West Coast then give me a call and make me an offer. Start is Wicklow 18th June.
More on racing page.